Your taxes are going up, but your tax levies are going down. The Richland City Council’s executive session with their “how to pick a city manager” consultant lasted for two hours, longer than their meeting.


The Richland City Council, particularly those who are running for re-election, will likely tell you that they either lowered your taxes or did not raise your taxes. Either way, it’s a bit of a flim-flam.

The Observer emailed Interim City Manager Jon Amundson on Monday to ask him to explain the “Revenue and Tax” item on the Richland City Council agenda. He responded, “Brandon Allen, Finance Director, will be giving a presentation tomorrow night that should assist.”

Well, it didn’t.

Here’s my best guess based on the information provided. The real estate tax levy last year was $2.25 per $1000 of assessed value. This year it will be $2.16 per $1000 of assessed value because, duh, assessments have gone up along with home prices, so there are more $1000 to tax. However, there are other levies so somehow, on top of that, there will be a 1% increase bringing the total levy to about $2.17 per $1000 assessed.

Confusing yes, but you will know the answer to your personal situation when your yearly tax bill arrives in the mail.

Consultant for city manager selection

Back in May the council hired a consultant to help them decide what they needed in a city manager. 

Councilmember Terry Christensen complained that former City Manager Cindy Reents had filtered information and communicated with some councilmembers more than others. Obviously, Christensen was one of the others.

The consultant’s contract goes until December because Christensen said that they promised Interim City Manager Jon Amundson who the council has been stringing along since Reents left in January.

If only the council spent as much time reading their packets and talking about items on the agenda as they have spent contemplating the selection of a new city manager.